Do Ceiling Fans Keep Mosquitoes Away?

Mosquito on skin

When the weather gets nice enough, you’ll probably want to be spending some time out on your porch or patio and enjoy some relaxation time. Unfortunately, mosquitoes have a tendency to get in the way of relaxation. If you don’t have repellant handy, you might wonder if your ceiling fan would do the job. 

The truth is that, yes, a ceiling fan can be helpful at deterring the pests. Ceiling fans create a breeze and circulate air that makes it difficult for mosquitoes to fly in and less able to land.

Not all fans are created equal for this purpose, but you can make a ceiling fan a mosquito-deterring machine if you want. Read on to find out why a ceiling fan can be a great option to help keep the blood-sucking bugs away!

How ceiling fans can help keep mosquitoes away

Take Away the Moisture

If you’ve ever been outside after a heavy downpour and felt the humidity, you’re familiar with how much mosquitoes love moisture in the air. It draws them out and can become really annoying having to swat them away every two seconds.

Having your ceiling fan on at a medium-to-high setting will dry out the air around you and deter mosquitoes from coming out to play. 

They Keep You Cool

On top of drying out the air, fans also keep you cool. This is another way that they’re useful for keeping mosquitoes away, because mosquitoes are attracted to sweat. When you’re under a cool breeze, you don’t sweat and they’ll be more likely to leave you alone.

For the best results, sit as close to the fan as possible so that you get the most coverage. If you’re on the outskirts of the fan’s effects, your back might sweat and that would bring in the mosquitoes.

They Create Wind Resistance

One of the biggest reasons that mosquitoes come around is a lack of wind. Mosquitoes, as well as other flying insects, typically stay away when a breeze is faster than they can fly. In this case, mosquitoes fly at a maximum of just under 1 - 1.5 miles per hour.

Most ceiling fans can produce an air speed that will overpower many flying insects, especially at their higher settings. Mosquitoes have been found to have weak flying muscles and consume a lot of energy to fly in strong winds.

For this reason, a ceiling fan will usually deter most flying insects if you make sure that yours goes to at least 1.5 miles per hour. Of course, it also helps when you’re closer to the fan because sitting directly underneath will provide the most coverage.

Ceiling fan spinning

What Makes You a Target?

Have you ever joked with your friends that mosquitoes like you more because you’re sweeter? Believe it or not there are factors that will make you more likely to attract mosquitoes, though sugar isn’t one of them.

The lactic acid in sweat is one main attraction, but mosquitoes also go after carbon dioxide and people with a higher metabolism. Carbon dioxide is mostly expelled when you breathe and talk, so there’s not much you can do about that.

A ceiling fan will not only keep you cool to lessen chances of you sweating, but the air flow will confuse mosquitoes and make it difficult to fly and land in. With the carbon dioxide and other chemicals that your skin gives off being blown around, mosquitoes won’t be able to pinpoint where to strike.

Minimize the Risk

If you know that you’re a mosquito magnet, it’s important to do what you can to avoid being eaten alive all night (a good reason to get a ceiling fan for your bedroom). This is especially good advice if you live in a humid environment. Wear clothes that cover more of your skin, like jeans and long-sleeves over shorts and tank tops.

One interesting proven thing is to wear lighter colors. For some reason, mosquitoes are more prone to go after people that wear dark clothes. If nothing else, mosquito repellant is always a safe option to put on.

Which Type of Fan is Most Effective?

Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are ideal for keeping mosquitoes away and creating a nice breeze. In fact, the best fan for the job will have large blades and a great motor. The large blades will cover the most area, but you have to remember that larger mass will slow your fan down.

That’s why the motor is a key element, because a better motor will be able to compensate for the extra mass of the blades and keep them rotating fast enough to drive away mosquitoes. Of course, there are a couple of other options.

Desk Fans

If your ceiling fan isn’t strong enough to create enough wind or you want added protection, desk fans will work just as good. The best way to go about this is to use two in opposite locations and create a cross-breeze.

Mosquitoes won’t be able to handle the opposing wind forces and will stay away. The biggest negative with desk fans, though, is the lower coverage from a ceiling fan.

Handheld Fans

Speaking of lower coverage, the handheld fan is obviously the worst in this respect.

They typically spin fast and blow cool air that will dry out your face, but the rest of your body will likely not get any air flow.

Still, if you have nothing else a handheld fan can do in a pinch.

Alternative Methods to Keep Away Mosquitoes

Mosquito on leaf

There are additional ways to keep mosquitoes away that you can use in tandem with your ceiling fan for maximum protection. Repellant was mentioned earlier, so feel free to spray it on your clothes or skin depending on the warnings.

Mosquito tape can be effective, trapping insects on the strips by attracting them using scents. Another effective measure of defense is a bug zapper or something like it. These little lights attract and kill mosquitoes as well as many other flying insects.

The last viable option to protect yourself from mosquitoes is to remove their reasons for being there in the first place. As discussed earlier, humidity and moisture will attract mosquitoes more than anything.

This means that stagnant water anywhere near your home will bring the pests. Make sure to clean your gutters often and try to remove any large puddles from your yard. Without the moisture to bring them around, mosquitoes won’t bother checking for targets.

All in all, if you have a ceiling fan – make  use of it! Not only for the cooling aspect but also to help keep the little blood sucking pests at bay.